It is well known that Paul Cézanne, though particularly wary of inappropriate appeals to theory, was nonetheless much given to formulating reflections as part of the practice of his own art. His letters, as well as his works themselves, demonstrate how positively he looked upon theory when it was correctly applied, and upon reason, “that clarity,” he wrote, “that enables us to see into matters with which we are faced.”

One of the sources of such reflections that tends to be overlooked is a volume entitled Le dimanche avec Paul Cézanne: Souvenirs (“Sundays with Paul Cézanne: Recollections”), which was published in 1925 and has not yet appeared in an English translation. The following forty-two maxims have been drawn from this book, and were previously recorded, according to its author, the poet Leo Larguier (1878-1950), in a handwritten...

 

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